Catherine Griffin

Pharmaceutical Assessor

Catherine joined the HPRA as a summer student in the Human Medicines Licensing department while completing a Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance and Biotechnology from Dublin Institute of Technology and quickly became involved in several projects, one of which lead to her masters dissertation.  

The following year, Catherine became a Scientific Officer in Advertising Compliance which was a new work area for the HPRA. Having been involved in various projects as a student meant that Catherine had the experience to work with the marketing compliance manager in developing the advertising compliance programme for the HPRA. 

After four years in the Advertising Compliance section, Catherine transferred to the Pharmaceutical Assessment section in our Human Products Authorisation and Registration Department (HPAR). 


C Griffin HR - Grad Prog

"I was very interested in the quality of medicines but lacking the experience to go straight into an assessor’s role. I moved into a Scientific Officer role in Quality Assessment in 2013 and in 2014, moved onto a Pharmaceutical Assessor at the HPRA"

Catherine Diagram 1

Catherine is now working as a Seconded National Expert (SNE) at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), an opportunity she attributes to the cumulative experience she gained in different areas of the HPRA. 

Catherine’s Advice:

  • If you are interested in an area, say it. Discuss it with your manager to see if you can gain some exposure to it. As a student, I was very interested in the paediatric regulation and was able to use much of the research for my dissertation.
  • A parallel move can be the best choice. Upward career movement is everyone’s ideal; but sometimes it makes sense to move sideways to enable the upward movement.
  • Don’t be disheartened. I have done twice as many interviews as job offers received. Take the feedback that you receive and see how you can improve weaker areas for the next opportunity.
  • All experience is useful experience. The project that doesn’t run smoothly is the one you learn the most on.